(November 1, 2013) After Federal Judge Lee Yeakel struck down several section's of Texas's landmark pro-life omnibus bill earlier this week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an immediate motion, asking the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the injunction. As of yesterday evening, the Fifth Circuit Court has re-established the original provisions of the law that were deemed unconstitutional by Judge Yeakel. Consequently, HB2's 'admitting privileges' and 'telemed abortion' provisions, which were suspended when the rest of the law went into effect on Tuesday, are in immediate effect as of last night. The decision means that at opening of business today, at least twelve clinics in Texas were rendered in non-compliance with state law.
The provisions of HB2 were established after a heated debate at the Texas capitol building. The bill succeeded despite Wendy Davis' infamous filibuster and the shameful mob-like behavior on the part of disagreeing abortion advocates. The four provisions established by HB2 included a ban on abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy, requirements for abortion facilities to meet the medical standards of an ambulatory surgical center, new safety regulations on the administration of the dangerous RU-486 abortion drug, and a mandate that abortionists in Texas must obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. After Planned Parenthood's lawsuit against the latter two provisions, Judge Yeakel placed an injunction to prevent the 30 mile rule and the RU-486 rules from being upheld. Today's ruling by the 5th Circuit Court re-establishes the RU-486 and 30 mile rules, to safeguard women from undergoing botched abortions and having no follow-up care available to them.
On Wednesday, at a press conference dealing with Judge Yeakel's decision, Texas Right to Life said the following:
Yeakel's decision has once again affirmed the abortionists' desire to protect their own personal bottom lines and their financial gain. Even though Yeakel's ruling places two parts of the pro-life law on hold, the decision is not final. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has an immediate response to the ruling, and he has a confirmed commitment that he and his capable team of attorneys will immediately take action – and that's exactly what they did.
These quick actions taken by the Office of the Attorney General facilitated the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals swift and decisive action. This is a victory for women's health in Texas. The trial on the constitutionality of the two provisions of HB2 being challenged is set for January of 2014. In the meantime, all of HB2 is in effect to protect women and their unborn children.